For those of you who are new to this site (or for those who’ve visited before and haven’t understood), I do not use the term “wiki” to mean an encyclopedic website, or even the play on the Hawaiian term “wikiwiki” (quick). My wiki is equivalent to week, just changing the spelling in hopes of sounding a little Hawaiian. I know…I didn’t ever say I was clever.
A lot of people have never heard of J. Wray & Nephew’s overproof rum. A lot of people who have hate it for its “kerosene” or “gasoline” impression on their taste buds. Yet, a lot of people really like this rum, including myself. One of the best ways to taste Wray & Nephew is to mix it with Ting, a lovely grapefruit pop also from Jamaica (Ting is one of the best, if you can’t find it, any grapefruit pop would work closely enough). I felt like something different – while in the mood for this rum, I made a week of drinks.
Windward Daiquiri 1 oz Wray & Nephew overproof 3/4 oz fresh grapefruit juice 1/2 oz fresh lime juice 1/4 oz simple syrup 1/4 oz falernum 1 cup shaved ice
Shake liquids with ice, and strain into pre-chilled glass filled with shaved ice, preferably a glass with a stem. Garnish with lime and grapefruit peels, twisting over drink. Note: I understand ice might seem unnecessarily over-used, discarding the shaken ice, discarding the pre-chilling ice, and only drink from the shaved ice in the served drink. The danger is the water from melted ice: water second-handedly added by shaking with ice, because the liquids are not ice-cold, unless wiping out the inside of the glass from pre-chilling – a small amount of water will reside before shaved ice is added, then finally shaved ice melting rather quickly. All the trouble is to keep the drink cold for that crucial span of moments your body heat rampages through your fingers into the glass. Meanwhile, the shaved ice slows the act of drinking, unless of course you eat the shaved ice like a snow cone.
Tuesday: The Jamaican Sunburn is sweeter than it sounds, thanks to muddling a lemon wedge, giving it a wholesome aspect, where simply juicing a lemon would leave you wanting. I tried both – juice only, and muddling with the peal, and liked both, but preferred the muddling flavor much better. By the way, please do not fret – the drink in the image below is not red at all, rather should have at least a reddening. I apologize for this, my cranberry juice was a bit bleached, and barely red at all. I honestly do prefer fresh ingredients…it’s just…some ingredients I cannot squeeze or prepare myself, and lay in wait for opening. Regardless, I will do better next time.
Jamaican Sunburn lemon wedge 1/4 oz vanilla syrup 2 oz cranberry juice 1 oz Wray & Nephew
Muddle lemon wedge and syrup well. Fill serving glass 3/4 with crushed ice, then dump into shaker with all ingredients. Shake fiercely (really make an effort and shake with power & speed). Pour everything into your glass, adding more crushed ice to fill (if needed). The muddled lemon wedge might serve as garnish (if so and it is submerged, fish it up to the surface – or if you want more, skewered lemon peel and cranberries would doll this drink up smartly).
Púca 1/2 oz Kraken 1 oz Wray & Nephew overproof 1/4 oz fresh lemon juice 1/4 oz orange curaçao 3/4 oz molasses mix* 2 dashes Angostura bitters
*Molasses mix is 1/2 molasses 1/2 hot water.
Shake ingredients with ice, double-strain into chilled glass. Add large chunk of ice (as to keep cold, but melting slowly, thereby not diluting the drink’s flavor – I used a Tovolo King Cube Jumbo-Size Silicone Ice-Cube Tray to make 2 inch sized cubes). Garnish with mint, smacking the leaves to express the oils in the leaves, but not too much – just a hint of mint aroma.
Thursday: A williwaw is a sudden violent, cold, katabatic gust of compressed wind, specifically descending from a mountainous coast to a sea, which sometimes reaches speeds well over 120 knots (roughly 180mph/220kph) – a particular threat for vessels attempting to sail around Cape Horn. I read a good book by Dallas Murphy a while back called, Rounding the Horn, which was where I first heard about williwaws.
Williwaw 1 oz Wray & Nephew overproof 1/2 oz Coruba dark 2 oz POG 3/4 oz fresh lime juice two dashes Peychaud's bitters 8 oz ice
Blend all ingredients in blender for 2 seconds. Pour into a chilled glass. Garnish with lime.
Friday: Hoban “Wash” Washburn, played by Alan Tudyk, was my favorite character on the science fiction television series, Firefly, which the FOX Network should not have cancelled (I repeat…should not have cancelled), let alone before the first season had completed. The show was chock-full of adventurous, albeit archetypal, characters, and well-acted, which is no small compliment from me. Yet, Wash stood out even more, perhaps appearing as some sort of kinship, or the first out of the characters I would choose as a friend. Anyway…before I get teary-eyed (joking), I will describe the drink.
Wash's Cider 1/2 oz honey mix* lemon wedge (small) 2 1/2 oz cider 1 oz Wray & Nephew 1 1/4 oz ginger beer 2 lemon wedges for garnish (because Wash deserves 2)
*honey mix: 1/2 honey – 1/2 hot water. The hot water helps the honey mix with liquids more thoroughly.
Muddle lemon, honey mix & cider, add rum. Shake mildly with ice and not for very long – just to mix it well enough and not bruise the cider (there may not be such a thing). Strain into chilled collins glass, adding a couple cubes of ice. Add ginger beer (preferably already cold) and give drink a couple gentle stirs. Garnish with two lemon wedges. I later regretted not adding another garnish, also add a single mint leaf, but not in the drink – try to have it hover above, likely using a toothpick into a lemon wedge, or through a straw – whatever you wish (hint: “I’m a leaf on the wind”).
On a more controversial side-note, you might find another recipe for this drink, again published by the Observer later that year (July 2012/November 2012), of a winning bartender’s recipe also entitled Independence Punch, which may not have a single similar ingredient (grapefruit sherbet, spiced pineapple, Appleton V/X, coconut water, and white rum). Then they published one more mention of the gingery recipe in February of this year. So I’m not sure if they made this recipe up themselves, or hid away the source of origin. There again, I may have entirely stuck my nose where it had no business. Or did it? This is the internet after all, right?
Wray & Nephew Independence Punch 2 slices of fresh Jamaican ginger 1/2 oz simple syrup juice of 1/2 lime (note: I used 1/2 oz) 2 oz fresh orange juice 2 oz pineapple juice 1 oz Wray & Nephew
Muddle the ginger, syrup and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Add the rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, ice and shake well. Double-strain into a chilled collins glass over ice and garnish with an orange wedge and mint. I also added the spent lime shell, pouring a little overproof into it like a bowl, and igniting it. The image does not show the straw I added after blowing out the blue flame. Caution: Overproof rum (or any overproof spirit) is highly flammable – please be careful not to burn yourself, or anything around you.